HP Pushes 'Instant On' Vision of Enterprise Cloud Services

by David Needle

As more companies look to tap cloud computing, HP says hybrid solutions make for a more orderly transition.

To read some of the breathless accounts touting the benefits of cloud computing, you might think most companies have already ditched their traditional on-premises infrastructure and jumped whole hog into the cloud.

But the reality is that the cloud is better-suited to certain applications and, for compliance, security and other reasons, many enterprises aren't ready to transition their computing infrastructure to a set of cloud services powered by systems they don't own.

On Tuesday HP released details of its "Instant-On Enterprise" vision of where computing is heading, coupled with a set of new consulting services designed to help companies get there. It's a vision that includes, but is not limited to, adoption of cloud computing technology.

"Part of our vision is about transforming old applications, not necessarily to the cloud, but to make them more available using new frameworks that can be accessed as a service," Sandeep Johri, vice president of enterprise strategy and industry solutions at HP, told InternetNews.com.

Johri said the new frameworks will enable component applications that can scale horizontally, so they're available from the data center, but also the cloud in a way that's seamless to the users that need to access them.

This idea of moving between cloud services and on-premises data center resources is a key part of HP's Instant-On Enterprise vision.

"We think the cloud needs to be more than the standard definition of on-demand services," said Johri. "An enterprise needs a level of security commitments and service quality commitments, among other attributes we believe are necessary."

To that end, HP says its hybrid approach brings the same level of security and uptime to cloud services that IT is used to and, in many cases, regulated industries require. Among other offerings, HP can also help companies build private clouds and cloud-based applications and also has a number of testing services to measure their effectiveness from a performance and compliance standpoint.

"The cloud can be something you use to augment other parts of your business," said Johri. "For example, for some of our airline customers we do 'ticketing as a service.' Those companies get billed on a per passenger basis and they don't get billed for servers -- the backend infrastructure is all handled by HP.

"From an instant-on perspective, an airline might just want the ticketing aspect, which we let them get right away without buying new infrastructure, but they may also want to keep a lot of other IT functions in house, and this program lets them do that."

Johri cites medical claims processing as another example of specialized cloud applications. "We do medical claims processing for 20 states in the U.S. and we get paid on a per claim basis. We process over a $100 billion in claims every year," he said. "We don't call it software as a service, but that's effectively what it is."

New hybrid delivery services

Tuesday, HP unveiled two new consulting services related to the hybrid approach it says can enhance computing resources and the availability of applications and services.

The HP Hybrid Delivery Strategy Service essentially provides the details of how to implement and manage services on a hybrid basis. "This offering provides clients with a patent-pending, model-driven framework to introduce hybrid delivery concepts into their existing environments," the company said.

The HP Hybrid Delivery Workload Analysis Service analyzes an enterprises workloads and applications to determine the best way to implement a hybrid model. HP said the service is enabled by its own experts who use a variety of analysis software in HP's portfolio to gather service usage and demand profile data to develop a set of recommendations on the best way to combine workloads for hybrid environments.

"The optimal architecture for the enterprise is a hybrid architecture, not everything is moving to the cloud or staying in-house," said Johri. "At the end of the day, IT needs to deliver services and some of those are best delivered in-house in a traditional single-tenancy environment, some in the cloud and some outsourced. We believe HP can bring optimization across multiple dimensions."

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

This article was originally published on Tuesday Nov 2nd 2010
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